11 plus one essential lessons of 2022 that would make your 2023 better

lessons learned

Dear friend, if you are here I assume you have read the first part of this two part article. If you stumbled on this but yet to read the first one, then click here to read the first part though it is no crime if you decided to read this first as none of the points have influence on the other.

Your best gift to yourself is to be good to yourself

The fear of not making it if we wasted time is always on our necks most especially for young people but what we often fail to know is that when you get mean on yourself you will surely pay for it one day. Be it your mental health, your spirituality or physical health, be conscious and intentional about it. I got to a point in 2022 that I realized I was so tired that I couldn’t do much again. For months, I rarely slept for three hours a day. I went to bed between 5am and 6am and was up at 8am. Sometimes I didn’t even sleep at all and that affected me both physically and mentally. That I have told myself I won’t do again. So I decided to set up a calendar and followed it. I slept when it was time to sleep and it didn’t matter whether I had tasks undone or not. I just had to sleep.

You should not give up on being good, some people need your goodness

You do not owe anyone anything but you owe everyone everything. The world is a place where no man exists solely by himself so every action and inaction of you has consequences that you will suffer. I had temptations to stop been my natural good to people for many reasons. Others were ungrateful. Some thought it was their right. Some others thought I needed it. Oh come, I don’t need to be good to you because with or without it I will still have life. But one thing I learnt in all that is, some of them act but it wasn’t their wish to do so. As I stated earlier on that your mental health is important, so many people look clean outside but they are damaged inside so it is the broken self them that is acting with pride or with that false authority and sense of ownership so when you leave them you’re actually just killing them straight. So if you still have the capacity to reach out to people, please do and don’t worry about how much they have hurt you or are ungrateful. They will one day serve as your agents of goodness to the world you will proud you helped someone become a ‘human’ again.

They are good to you, not foolish

In a world where nearly everyone is out only for themselves, people sometimes still stand alone and decide to be good to others. However, we are losing such kind people every day due to the negligence of the beneficiaries. If someone decides to lay down their life for you it is not because they have no options or are foolish or have more than enough. No, never. It is because they understand what Christ said by loving your neighbour as yourself. So be gentle and kind to people who are out supporting you. Everyone has a breaking point and when they snap you won’t get them back. And they will just go under and no one will ever benefit from them again because you took them for granted. I recently told a friend that going forward before I help anyone the person must sign a deed for responsibility to be of good behaviour and to not misuse the help or me. He laughed and said I am just hurt. Yeah, I was hurt but it makes sense to let people do that though I will still think about it whether I should implement it in 2023 or not.

No one is invincible

All mortals are mortals. No mortal is beyond breaking regardless of their level of resilience. The people you live around with, once in a while check up on them and find out what is going on their lives. I have been there before. Outside I looked stronger than anything but I was piece of rug inside. I was torn and broken and sometimes just a text message from anyone at all to say help would have been enough for me but sadly I never got. There was this time I decided to not call any of my friends or text them and sadly none reached out for the over two weeks period. I just got angry and said that was it. It was over. But later a friend of mine I used to talk to almost every day reached out. I was very emotional I kept thanking her like never before. Throughout 2022, I got to know those who reached out when I didn’t even call for a year. Then I also thought of it, was it necessary just being mad at all my friends for not reaching out? Do I know what they are going through? So I started calling some and texting some. I was shocked. Most of them were going through so much. Others were even sick. I was beaten by my pride. So I decided to always message most of the people in my contact list even it was just to say hello. It may not be frequent but once in a while was okay. So reach out to people when you can even if they don’t.

Saying thank you to people while they are alive is better than reading the most poetic tribute at their funeral.

This I am saying for the unnumbered time. I am not a student of tributes at funerals. They have no value. They are lies told in a glorified environment. If they are not lies, have you ever heard anyone reading out the bad deeds of someone at their funeral? It is always the good things. I am not against that but trust me, not all the good things we talk about the dead people are true. They must just be turning in the coffins in pain if only they could hear and are honest. So my question is, if that person was a saint as you portray at the funeral why not tell them to their faces while they had life? If someone is good and you tell him, he will be encouraged to do more. If another was and you told him he would maybe make efforts to change but you never did and only to go to their funeral with poetry in books and sheets of papers to read with concocted tears just to make people cry. To me, it is a shame and a big scam. It is just to make the mourners feel comfortable to enjoy the funeral party.

In 2022, I lost a number of friends and acquaintances,   two of them touched me so much. One was a classmate in primary school and he got my number after church some time ago after we had not met for years. He called once in a while to check up on me but I never did call back even once until I saw his picture on another friend’s status. A couple of times I had planned to call but I never made it. Now he was gone. I sat in my office and all I could sense was regret and pain. I loved the calls he did to me but I never had the opportunity to call and tell him I loved them or appreciated them. Would I be right to write any tribute about him and share or read at his funeral? I must be the most dishonest person ever alive.

The other one was a senior to me. I went to his school at the regional capital to do something while I was at the university and we met. He welcomed me and took my number. Since then whenever he sees me he asks of my brother who was his friend. I would go to greet whenever I see him standing anywhere. That relationship was there and he called once in a while. I can’t remember calling him for a very long time and I think I even lost the number but I could have asked my brother for it or even ask my brother to convey my greetings to him but I never did. I saw a post on Facebook that he was gone. He was good to me but did I ever reach out to let him know I appreciated his calls and the fact that he was way older than me but still treated me as a friend? I never did. So what right do I have to go read tributes at his funeral? This is me, a distant to them but it is the same thing with our family members and close friends so there is no difference. Be good to them now. Let them know they are good now so that you don’t have to tell it to the crow after their passing. I have repeatedly told my friends that no tribute at my funeral and I really mean it. Just do it now if I deserved any.

Taking things too personal and saying things out of emotions is damaging

I had a misunderstanding with a colleague because he said things and did things that I felt were wrong and I didn’t deserve that. Then later I was told something and that incensed me and the whole thing escalated. Later I got more information and I felt it was foolish of me to act that furious. The things he did and said were the same and I didn’t deserve them but the information I got later was half-truth which I acted on. In the end things were sorted out but I nearly lost everything I had worked for because I nearly became petty. Also, I had encounters with a number of friends who made certain decisions I felt were unfair so I said things that were out of pain and things messed up. However, I later thought about them and realized in as much as I was hurt I should have not taken them so personal. When you view things from what you the lost and what you benefited point of view you will always make wrong decisions. I did that so many times and I have learned to be calm and accept things are they are at first, get to know more before concluding or saying anything.

God is always number one

God is always number one regardless and whether you believe it or not it is the truth. We all believe in something powerful somewhere that controls everything. That to me is God. To you it may be something with a different name but it is still the same force of control and of goodness. I must be honest that of all the support and strength I had in 2022, nothing was comparable to the things I believe came from God. There were times I just knew it was over but then it wasn’t. I often found a way. How I did it always I had no idea but I just knew one thing was responsible; that super power beyond humans. So in all things and all persons, the ultimate help comes from God and if you worked 99 per cent for your dreams, he will come through for you at the vital one per cent you were stranded. I am grateful I got this far and I think the days ahead are even going to be greater and better because I have that super power in addition to the experiences of 2022.

These are just my personal experiences and are not exhaustive to any researched opinions. You may find something valuable in there that could be worth taking, take it. You are also at liberty to share to others for we are better by helping others to walk. I am because of you and you because of me that is why I decided to share.

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